Legal Commentary: Julie Hilden Archive


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LARA CROFT, STARRING AS LOLITA? "VIRTUAL" CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, THOUGHT CRIMES, AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT
FindLaw columnist, attorney and auther Julie Hilden discusses the First Amendment implications of a federal law banning "virtual" child pornography -- which involves digitized or animated images, not actual children -- as well as the general concept of "thought crimes." Hilden notes that the Supreme Court as much as invited pseudo- and virtual child pornograpy when it upheld a ban on actual child pornography. And she draws on sources as disparate as Orwell's "1984," the movies "Lolita" and "Hannibal," and the video game Tomb Raider to illustrate the dangers of a virtual child pornography ban.
Monday, Mar. 05, 2001

THE NINTH CIRCUIT’S NAPSTER DECISION
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden discusses the ramifications of the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the Napster case. Hilden contends that peer-to-peer file sharing technology is effectively unstoppable, and notes that other courts confronted with unstoppable or virtually unstoppable technologies, such as VCRs and portable MP3 players, have allowed them to flourish. In breaking with this pattern, Hilden argues, the Ninth Circuit has issued an opinion in Napster that irreconcilably conflicts with both Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent, and technological reality.
Monday, Feb. 19, 2001

IS RAP MUSIC ON TRIAL ALONG WITH SEAN "PUFFY" COMBS?
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Julie Hilden reflects on the first week of the ongoing trial of rap star and businessman Sean "Puffy" Combs and two others. Hilden argues that the prosecution is making a critical error in suggesting to the jury that Combs' status as a purportedly arrogant rap celebrity is relevant to the case against him, and criticizes prosecutors' earlier suggestion that they may use rap lyrics against Combs' co-defendant Jamal "Shyne" Barrow.
Monday, Feb. 05, 2001

WHY THE GOVERNMENT OPPOSES PRISONERS' FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS RIGHTS
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden discusses the Supreme Court case, argued this month, that addresses the question of whether prisoners have a First Amendment right to provide each other with legal assistance. Hilden contends that the governments' arguments against the recognition of such a right -- including its contentions that "jailhouse lawyer" inmates would enjoy too high a status, and that inmate "clients" would get too angry at inmate "lawyers" -- are strikingly weak. Accordingly, she suggests that the government's real motivation for opposing this right lies elsewhere.
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001

AN INTERVIEW WITH AMY GUTMAN, AUTHOR OF THE LEGAL THRILLER "EQUIVOCAL DEATH"
Amy Gutman worked at the top New York firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and was a journalist, before writing the legal thriller "Equivocal Death," published this month. "Equivocal Death"'s clever, two-level plot has young law firm associate Kate Paine both litigating a sexual harassment case and exploring a murder in which she believes sexual harassment issues may have turned lethal. FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden asks Amy about topics ranging from how the author of "Rent" posthumously inspired her, to what Catharine MacKinnon's reaction to the book's use of her sexual harassment manual was, to her thoughts about real-life female associates' situations. BOOK EXCERPT: Read the first chapter of Amy Gutman's "Equivocal Death."
Monday, Jan. 22, 2001

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRAD MELTZER, AUTHOR OF THE LEGAL THRILLER "THE FIRST COUNSEL"
Brad Meltzer became the envy of his Columbia law school classmates when his legal thriller "The Tenth Justice" -- proving that a Supreme Court clerkship might actually be your worst nightmare -- hit the bestseller list. On January 9, Brad's new thriller, "The First Counsel," about a White House lawyer who dates the President's daughter, with disastrous consequences, will appear. FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden checks in with Brad on how he plots, what he learned about First Daughters, and which former White House counsels were willing to dish about their jobs. BOOK EXCERPT: Read the first chapter of Brad Meltzer's "The First Counsel"
Monday, Jan. 08, 2001

WHY ANONYMOUS INTERNET SPEAKERS CAN'T COUNT ON ISPS TO PROTECT THEM
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden contends that anonymous Internet speakers enjoy far less legal protection, in practice, than confidential newspaper sources do, and suggests that this disparity should be remedied. Internet Service Providers, Hilden argues, have far less motivation to go to bat to protect anonymous speech than, for example, newspapers do. Thus, despite the advent of the Internet, elite speakers who can get the attention of more traditional media remain more likely to enjoy the privilege of permanent anonymity.
Monday, Jan. 01, 2001

A CASE OF FREE SPEECH VERSUS FREE SPEECH?
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Julie Hilden discusses a First Amendment case the Supreme Court heard earlier this month. That case raised the issue of whether, consistent with the First Amendment, the government can make illegal the disclosure of illegally intercepted communications (such as e-mails, cellphone calls, and faxes) by persons who were not involved in the initial interception. Hilden examines two issues the case raises: free speech (of journalists) versus free speech (of cellphone users, e-mailers, and others); and free speech (of journalists) versus the privacy of those who want to know their communications are secure.
Monday, Dec. 25, 2000

COULD THE ELECTION HAVE COME OUT DIFFERENTLY, IF ONLY THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT HAD ACTED DIFFERENTLY?
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden contends that the Florida Supreme Court's failure to respond promptly to the U.S. Supreme Court's remand order in the first Gore v. Bush case, concerning the manual recount deadline, may have insulted and piqued a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, she suggests that absent this insult, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week might have come out differently -- and a Bush presidency might not have resulted.
Friday, Dec. 15, 2000

READING THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT'S OPINION
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden analyzes the Florida Supreme Court's Friday opinion, which requires manual recounts of "undervotes" that could extend statewide, and which will be the subject of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument. She outlines a number of respects in which the opinion diverges from traditional appellate court decision making, and explains why the Florida opinion, from a lawyer's perspective, is an unusual one.
Monday, Dec. 11, 2000

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